How To Handle
The Job Hopper Question
The Career Landscape Has Changed
As the economy changes and
pink slips pop up, the once optional choice of changing jobs
has become a mandatory step towards the top. Times change:
15 years ago employers may have easily rejected a good
candidate who held five jobs in eight years. Today, in the
wake of company mergers, corporate acquisitions, dot.com
shutdowns, mass lay-offs and restructuring, hiring managers
are more forgiving of job hoppers. They are realizing it is
more of the norm.
While today’s employers may be less weary of job changers
than their predecessors, some may still have misgivings.
That is why you must come prepared with confident,
reassuring answers to tricky questions like:
The Tough Interview Question: "Why have you switched jobs so
What Is The Interviewer After?
When interviewers ask such an uncomfortable question, they
are usually looking or one of the following:
A reason to choose you.
Valid reason(s) for your jumping jobs.
A reason to eliminate you
from the selection process. Any red flags that indicate
you are the problem and will not last long at the
Popular Reasons For
Switching Jobs Often
To receive the employer’s
approval and acceptance of your reasons for changing
careers, formulate an acceptable response to counter the job
hopping issue. Some popular reasons for switching jobs
Taking care of domestic
demands, death/extended illness in immediate family,
Moving because of spouse’s
job, desire to travel, climate, family, etc.
Continually seeking more
satisfaction in the workplace
jobs to determine where true interests lay
Working in positions that
were only temporary (internships, summer jobs, campaign
responsibilities, more money, more respect, more
prestige, more flexibility, etc.
Be Honest With Your Answers
Don’t try to leave employment skeletons in your closet
because sooner or later, they will invariably come back to
haunt you. Be bold. Take full responsibility for whatever
leaps you made in your professional past and explain why you
did what you did and how you’re a better candidate because
of such actions.
In your answer, try to:
Tie Your Work Together. If you worked in different
capacities, relate those duties to the position you’re
"Since I worked in public relations, marketing and
promotions, my communication skills continually improved in
various mediums which would aid your advertising firm."
Explain Why This Time Will Be Different.
If you always had to leave jobs because your husband was in
the military, say how his retiring will change your pattern.
If you jumped whenever another offer looked better, say how
you have learned loyalty, stability and commitment take
precedence over money.
"After I graduated from college, I wanted to test my talents
in many different fields but now I know that my true passion
is for architecture."
Reveal How Your Checkered Career Path Can Benefit The
List how your skills, experience and education improved in
each of your previous jobs and that such a varied background
can bring a fresh perspective to the current position.
"Since the film and music industries are so closely related,
I feel my experience in the recording and commercial music
business helped me acquire unique contacts and skills that
will improve your film production company."
Each counter to the job hopping question will vary based
upon individuals and their unique experiences. Not everyone
has a perfect career history but that doesn't mean you are
at a disadvantage. Use the above tips to better handle this
situation during your next interview.
About The Author
Nathan Newberger is the job and career expert at http://www.WorkTree.com
Nathan has over 10 years experience in staffing and human
resources. He has worked both as a recruiter and career
counselor. Mr. Newberger has been the Managing Editor at
http://www.WorkTree.com for the past 5 years and his
articles have helped thousands of job seekers.